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Throw out the records

Posted by Doug on December 26, 2006

I've heard it said that, since teams in the same division know each other well and always have incentive regardless of record, in-division games tend to be closer than out-of-division matchups.

Here is a data dump from which you can draw your own conclusions. This includes all games since the merger from week 6 through the end of the regular season.

DIFF is the number of games that separated the two teams in the standings at the time the game was played. For instance, when the Colts and Texans met last Sunday, the Colts were 11-3 and the Texans were 4-10, making the DIFF 7.

All numbers are presented from the vantage point of the team with the better record. In the DIFF 7 column, for instance, you can see that intradivision games are won by the team with the better record 80.4% of the time while interdivision games are won by the team with the better record 87% of the time.


=== interdivision =====|=== intradivision =====
DIFF N Win% AvMargin N Win% AvMargin
======================================================
0.5 151 0.500 0.4 101 0.520 0.4
1.0 693 0.541 2.1 568 0.547 1.7
1.5 116 0.591 3.4 88 0.523 1.2
2.0 523 0.602 3.5 474 0.560 2.3
2.5 89 0.669 5.0 75 0.653 4.5
3.0 382 0.666 5.2 338 0.660 5.5
3.5 39 0.667 3.3 48 0.708 8.4
4.0 253 0.644 5.9 257 0.716 7.2
4.5 27 0.667 9.1 29 0.828 13.6
5.0 137 0.737 8.8 140 0.707 6.5
5.5 15 0.933 18.1 18 0.944 13.5
6.0 88 0.807 10.0 90 0.767 9.2
6.5 5 0.600 10.0 4 1.000 15.5
7.0 46 0.870 12.4 56 0.804 10.3
7.5 3 0.667 16.0 1 1.000 16.0
8.0 20 0.700 8.5 29 0.897 13.0
8.5 2 1.000 18.5 2 1.000 22.0
9.0 9 0.778 17.1 8 0.875 16.2
9.5 0 0.000 0.0 1 1.000 9.0
10.0 4 0.750 22.0 4 0.750 15.5
10.5 1 1.000 1.0 1 1.000 10.0
11.0 2 1.000 8.5 1 1.000 28.0